Aftercare Instructions

Many of us don’t get proper aftercare instructions after fistula surgery. A friend in my support group shared photos of her aftercare instructions, and they were so good that I had to type them up to share with all of you. I turned them into images so that they can be easily saved and shared from most platforms. Please feel free to save and share them!

Please note that these instructions aren’t perfect, just the best I have seen so far, and they won’t apply to everyone. If you are unsure about your aftercare, I urge you to call your surgeon’s office to have them answer any questions.

(All of this information comes from a handout by Alberta Health Services)

En Español:

Instrucciones de descarga despuès de la cirugìa anal

(Informacion crèdito a Alberta Health Services)

Cuidandando tu àrea anal

1. Toma un baño de asiento tres o cuatro veces al dìa. Limpia la bañera antes y despuès de su baño. No use aceites, baños de burbujas, lociones, o polvos en su àrea anal.

2. Es possible que tenga una secreciòn amarilla en sù àrea anal. Es posible que tambièn tenga sangre en la zona, especialmente despuès de movimientos intestinales.

3. No demore la evacuaciòn intestinal. Vacìa tus intestinos pronto cuando sientes la necesidad. No te sientes en el baño por mucho tiempo. Siempre toma un baño de asiento despuès de la ecvacuaciòn intestinal. Trata de no aser tension ni estreñirte.

4. Use una compresa frìa en la àrea anal para ayudar con el dolor.

5. NO se siente en una almohada en forma de rosquillas. Presionan sobrè la àrea que esta sanando.


En Español:

Instrucciones de descarga despuès de la cirugìa anal

(Informacion crèdito a Alberta Health Services)

Llama a su cirujano si tienes: 

* Escalofrìos o fiebre (temperatura sobre 38.5° C o 101.3° F)

* Estreñimiento que no mejora

* Dolor que no mejora con medicamentos

* Cuàgulos de sangre viniendo de la àrea anal

* Drenaje de la zona anal que huele mal

* Sangrando abudante (remojando una almohadilla gruesa en menos de una hora)

* Problemas pasando la orina

** llama 911 si tienes dolor repentino en el pecho o dificultad para respirar**


En Español:

Informaciòn de seguimiento para la cirugìa anal

Procedencia: Alberta Health Services

Movimiento intesinales despues de su cirugìa

  • Después de la cirugía, puedes contar con un poco de de dolor con su primer movimiento intestinal. No demore teniendo una evacuación intestinal. Esto solo hace que su materia fecal sea más dura y causa más dolor cuando eventualmente tenga una evacuación intestinal.
  • Toma medicamentos para el dolor 30 minutos antes de evacuacìon intestinal
  • Vacíe sus intestinos tan pronto como sienta la necesidad
  • No te sientes en el baño por largos períodos de tiempo. Esto puede causar presión, hinchazón y sangradura. Siéntate en el baño solo el tiempo que sea necesario para vaciar los intestinos. 
  • Toma un baño de asiento después de cada evacuación para limpiar y calmar su área anal.
  • Trata de no estreñirse o esforzarse con los deposiciones. Debe tener una evacuación intestinal el segundo día de la cirugía. Llama a su médico si está comiendo fibra exta o está tomando laxantes prescritos, y todavía está estreñido.

Cuando tù lleges a casa

  • Después de la cirugía, debe levantarse y hacer muchas caminatas cortas. Levantándose temprano ayuda a recuperar su fuerza, estimula buena circulación, ayuda a pasar gas y ayuda a que sus intestinos comiencen a funcionar. Cuando el dolor se comienza mejorar, aumente lentamente la distancia. Haga que alguien camine con usted hasta que esté firme en sus pies.
  • Puedes aumentar tus actividades como te sientas capaz.
  • Puedes volver a tus actividades ordinaro si no hay dolor.

Cuando llamar a su cirujano

  • Fiebre (temperatura sobre 38° C o 101.3° F
  • Dolor que no mejora con medicamentos
  • Problemas para orinar
  • Coágulos de sangre viniendo de su área anal
  • Estreñimiento que no mejora
  • Drenaje de la zona anal que huele mal
  • Sangrado abundante (remojando una almohadilla de gasa gruesa en menos de una hora)

14 thoughts on “Aftercare Instructions

  1. Dear Survival Guide Readers,

    Every Fistula is different including taking care of them. I just had 7 surgeries in 2 years – have seen 6 different surgeons and I’m still fighting this infection – I am dealing with this thing on day to day basis. Here is what I’m doing now to not go crazy with the pain… stay away from stressful situations and people, rest/ stay off your fistula area but stay active to keep circulation, eat really healthy food, visit a nurse care unit to assist you in cleaning your area, no sitz baths/showers with handle to clean area worked the best/when I did baths it aggravated area … and talk about fistula and educate your doctor and others about your pain and symptoms- I’ve gain over 60 pounds because of this fistula and now dealing with high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and depression – I can’t control this fistula but I can control these other diagnoses – I’m going to keep praying and wish everyone healthy blessings and do not give up. Big Hugs )i(

    • 100% true! Everyone is so different, different things work for different people. These are obviously generalized aftercare instructions, but thank you for pointing out that every case is different, and some of these instructions might not work for some people.
      Glad you are working on your other diagnoses, and sending good vibes to you for your fistula journey!

  2. The instructions form my hospital (NYU in New York) where I had a LIFT procedure done last Friday were very similar to these. Reassuring to see them here too.

    • Did they pack the wound at all? I was a bit alarmed as well, but it always seemed to close up okay (though it took a long time to fix the fistula). Sending good thoughts your way! —leah

      • Hey, how much time does it take to close wound. I ajd surgery three months back and my wound still oozes out blood.

      • Hey, which surgery did you have? Everyone heals at a different pace, and it depends on the size of the wound. Have you been back to your surgeon for a follow-up yet? If not, I would schedule one, and let them know you’re still having drainage and oozing.

    • I’m not really aware of any self-treatment cures, though I know there are things to reduce discomfort (like sitz baths, and ointments like calmoseptine and coconut oil). There is a risk of infection, sepsis, or re-abscess, and possibility of the fistula tract growing and becoming more complex. It’s often an option to have a long term seton to keep the fistula draining if you don’t want to try more surgery. Sorry for the extremely delayed response, my notifications were not working apparently!

  3. Hi there. What kind of discharge and what amount of discharge is acceptable. This is my third surgery and the pain has reduced drastically but this is the most discharge ive experienced…..10 days post surgery.

    • Hi Bradley, what type of surgery did you have? With my successful advancement flap I had quite a lot of mildly bloody/mucous-y discharge the first two weeks, especially after bm’s, then it slowly went down over the next month to none.
      If you’re having fecal discharge, if the discharge is particularly foul smelling, or if it’s green/yellow I’d check in with your surgeon to be on the safe side.
      If you had a draining seton placement it will keep draining, and that’s normal and expected. A cutting seton will also have some regular discharge/draining. Hope that helps. If you’d like to ask to others, I have a closed facebook group where you can connect with other fistula patients—can be useful for brainstorming/venting.

      • Hi there. I had a seton placed and then recently a fistulectomy done. The drainage is blood and some like light brown stuff. It is not smelly but quite abit is present on the gauze each time. The doctor says its expected. But im just so weary to go through the whole process again to find that i am not rid of this.

      • Oh, I had a fistulectomy earlier on in my fistula years. That sounds like what I had, blood and light brown. I know how you feel, just try to take it one day at a time, and really rest well. Don’t do any major exercise or bending/lifting, give it the best chance to heal correctly. Sending good vibes that this is the one that fixes it!

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